Paying it Forward: Blogging Awards

Thank you! First of all – thank you to each of you who take time to read my posts. I can feel something changing in my writing style this year, although I’m not sure just yet what that means. There’s a more personal connection, a desire to just let the words be said. Last year felt like it was all about the heart whispers. While that remains true, perhaps it’s the heart whispers that take a different form in 2012. The wisdom, the elegance, the grace are still present, but the unraveling of perfection is too. It’s almost even a bit scary to say that out loud – to put it in print. A recent indicator that others were perceiving me as ‘too perfect’ was a stinging reality that perhaps I’m not seeing myself clearly. There feels to be a fine line between striving to live as something you believe in and just letting yourself be who you are. This will be a year of reconciling the two. I’m grateful that each of you has taken the journey with me, and hope that we’ll continue to share together as we all go forward and reclaim ourselves. 

Secondly, thank you to Cat Forsley for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award, and to Miro for the Candle Lighter’s Award. Since this is a year of not hiding behind emotions and truths, I’ll tell you that while I celebrated others receiving awards in our blogging community, I couldn’t help but wonder what I must have been missing. As simple as it seems, to be a writer and have others enjoy your writing feels so fulfilling. Perfect Jackie would say it’s enough just to know people read it. Human Jackie will tell you I was elated to see my name connected to awards. Shallow? Yes, perhaps, depending who you ask. But it’s truly one of the first real acknowledgments from peers of my ability to write. And for that – I am ELATED! Thank you. 

The third order of business is to pass these awards on to others who have inspired, amused, amazed and taught me along the way. These are bloggers with whom I’ve connected – some in the beginning of this year-long journey, others within even the last few days. But each one makes an impact, and I’m thrilled to take this time to recognize them and their work. Please do take a moment to visit and connect if you feel so led. 

Kreativ Blogger Award ~ 10 interesting things: 

My understanding is that the recipient of this award also shares ten interesting things about him/herself. So here goes:

1. I still have the collection of hearts I began when I was a young girl. They range from earrings to erasers to jewel boxes and everything in between. My grandmother would always save the hearts she found along the way, just for me.

2. (This is not as simple as it seems.) I have five cats – and to our youngest daughter, I’m known as ‘the crazy cat lady.’ Fortunately, our home provides room for each of them to have their own space, and unless I told you, you would have no idea five cats live here.

3. I’m still married to my first love. It’s been nearly 20 years, lots of ups and lots of downs. Although in the beginning I couldn’t understand how I ended up with someone who didn’t ‘get’ me – all these years later I’ve realized that he’s exactly what my heart wanted….and loves me in the way I most need.

4. I’m not afraid of death. In fact, experiencing my father-in-law’s passing felt like stepping into another world filled with intrigue and possibilities.

5. My life has been blessed with not one father, but two. Each is different, but both love me. When my parents divorced, my stepfather didn’t miss a beat. I’m now watching my brother do the same with his wife and her two daughters. History does indeed repeat itself.

6. I still have no idea what I want to be ‘when I grow up.’ And even if I did know, it would change tomorrow.

7. Our New England family roots can be traced back to when the English first came to America. This in itself is not so impressive, but what I love is knowing our heritage, understanding who we were. My entire family of 5 siblings (children and spouses too) and parents moved here to Atlanta in 2000-2004. I continue to love New England….but relish in the southern warmth!

8. I graduated in a class of just ONE. Me. We went to Christian school, newly formed by our church and in 1990 – I was the only senior.

9. I was born ‘Jack Frost’ and am now ‘Jackie Robinson.’ ; )

10. The rest seems ordinary. And that’s not an easy thing to say – for a perfectionist. ; ) But it’s MY ordinary and it’s who I am….and that’s enough.

Ok, blogs I feel represent creativity, I’m awarding the Kreativ Blogger Award to: 

 ~ The Wild Pomegranate: Janece makes me laugh with her ‘real life’ style of looking at life. She’s inspiring because there isn’t much that stops her from saying, doing, creating what she wants. I love the changes she always makes to her blogs appearance with her ‘wild’ creative style. The Wild Pomegranate was the first blog I found, and so it’s significant that Janece is the first person I’ll give a blogging award to. Thank you for inspiring me to let it all go. 

~ Caffeine for the Creative Soul: Tim Coffey has a strikingly simplistic yet creative way of blogging. His drawings speak volumes without the need for Tim to add much dialogue around them. I love that I can visit his blog and just by taking in the drawing, receive some inspiration for my day. Your creativity amazes me, Tim. So glad to have found you. 

~ Spirit Lights the Way: Loved reading this blog especially through the holidays. Nancy shared personal photos of Christmas decor created for her by loved ones, including her father. The titles of her posts were Christmas carols, and often there was something to be learned about where the narrative originated. Unrelated to the holidays, I especially enjoyed her recent post Rebirth….Renewal….Reincarnation about the Tibetan monks confirming the identity of the Dalai Lama when he was 4 years old. 

~ Zumpoems: A site dedicated to the poetry of Zumwalt. While I’m not familiar myself with Zumwalt and his legacy, I find these posts to be filled with colorful, image-evoking descriptive prose. There’s a quiet perspective of life happening all around us, reminding us to savor each moment for what it is. 

~ Stopping the Wind: I’ve just found these last two sites, and this one really made me stop in my tracks. This is the personal journal of a woman who is deep in debt, overweight, smoking — and is journaling her desire, progress and journey to becoming fit and raising the funding needed for a 3 week National Geographic tour through Peru and a hike of Huayna Picchu. I found her posts to be open and filled with honest accounts of the ups and downs she is experiencing. Lee inspires me to find more of my authentic self and let her be SEEN.

~ Starbear’s Weblog: Another recent gem! Betsy Lewis shares stunning photos of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Her photos and posts are filled with family connection enough to evoke warmth even in what is a very cold climate. We connected through the ‘No Comfort Zone’ Challenge and I’m absolutely loving the ability to experience our northern state through the beauty of Betsy’s perspective. 

And now for the Candle Lighter’s Awards. This feels to be about shining light into our world with words of wisdom; reaching out to encourage others to be the best WE we can be. 

~ Crowing Crone Joss: My second ‘blogging friend.’ I’ve been following Joss for nearly a year and feel as though we’ve laughed and cried together over steaming cups of coffee. She’s like the mother who always loves you and the grandmother who passes her wisdom on to you. She’s the friend you want to open your heart to….the sister you know is always there. Joss is a constant source of support and a shining example of what it is to be a ‘crowing crone’ who ‘walks in beauty.’ Love to you, Joss. 

~ Cat Forsley: This is one passionate woman! Legally blind, Cat’s love of music and poetry, her mystical nature and openness in this journey bring a sense of comfort, coupled with the desire to let your heart sing. Her words flow like angels…and with the fire of Love she carries, Cat brings us all deeper into the warmth of Divine energy. She’s also a very talented musician. I love your passion, Cat and appreciate your ability to love so openly. With love, xo

~ Warrior Poet Wisdom: Miro – provoking, testing the waters of what it is to be a spiritual warrior in our time. Miro’s poetic posts give one pause, to consider the ways in which we allow our ego power over our spirits. It’s not all peace and love here, but there is a presence of courage, collaboration and integrity. I always find myself re-reading his posts, contemplating what he’s said, checking in to see what’s true for me. A true spiritual warrior, indeed. Thank you, Miro for lighting our way. 

~ Zendictive: First, a thank you to Janece for guiding my way to Art. Addictive Zen. So much wisdom to be shared through Art’s stories of zen, of some of life’s most obvious truths that we have perhaps forgotten in the harried-ness of our lives. I’m often grinning, having aha! moments as I read Art’s posts. They offer to us a different perspective from which to see who we are, to consider how and why we do and choose what we do…and to ask ourselves if perhaps there’s a different choice to be made. Ever the supporter on our blogs, I thank you for your burning flame of wisdom that guides us on our journeys, my friend. 

~ Nuckinuk: While Anna’s blog might not be active on a daily basis, when she posts, it’s filled with raw truth, pure hearted reflection and honest introspect. Anna is one of the greatest sources of Love I’ve met on this planet, a true soulmate. Although we’ve not yet met in ‘real life,’ she is a beautiful reflection of the best we carry within ourselves. Anam Cara, sweet friend. Thank you. 

~ Inside Out Cafe: One of my latest connections, and the creator of the ‘No Comfort Zone’ challenge, which has clearly brought an already very bright light into my shadows! Thank you Marge for challenging us to step out of our shells – and for standing beside us as we go along our way in 2012. This is going to be an amazing year, I can feel it! 

Phew! I know that feels like a lot…but for me, having a little bit shared about someone’s site is what intrigues me to visit their blog. So I hope that when something strikes you, you take a moment and make the connection. We never know where each step will take us. 

In closing, I thank you all again for sharing this journey. Whatever 2012 brings, I look forward to what we’ll all experience and celebrate together. With much love…xoxo